Friday, December 18

The Best Laid Plans

Sometimes you have a great plan, and things outside your control throw everything into disarray.

For the last couple of weeks I've been spending a decent chunk of my time email shops in the US, trying to get them to stock my games. It's been pretty successful, so I am keen to continue. This week, I was going to be playtesting on Monday and I had a hospital appointment Tuesday morning, but other than that I planned to spend 3.5 days on the email campaign.

Monday I went playtesting, then to my German lesson on Monday night. Tuesday morning I nipped over to the hospital as planned. So far so good. I got back to my computer on Tuesday afternoon and experienced yet more internet problems, which had been a continuing problem over the last couple of weeks. Webpages were timing out when I tried to view them, emails were repeatedly timing out when I tried to send them. Everything was a bit flaky. I'd checked with my ISP and they weren't reporting any problems, so perhaps it was a local problem. I pinged Google. Very slow with up to 75% packet loss. Not good. I pinged my wireless router. Very slow with up to 75% packet loss. WHAT? This is not a good sign. I rebooted my computer in Windows (it's a dual boot machine) and got the same result, so it's either a problem with my computer or the router. Then I set up The Wife's computer in my office and her computer was fine, 0% packet loss to the router and 2ms response time. So it was my computer, and since I was getting the same problem in Windows and Ubuntu it was a hardware problem.

This could have been a real disaster, but since The Wife has less need of her computer now, she'd already offered to swap with me. She's also got a work laptop she brings home too. I'd started to install stuff on her machine in Windows (Vista :( ) a few weeks ago, but it hadn't been a priority. Now it was. Wednesday I spent all day trying to get Ubuntu onto her machine. She had a single large partition on her hard drive, so I needed to re-size that to make room for a ext4 linux partition. Fortunately, Vista comes with partitioning tools. Unfortunately, there are some problems. You can't shrink a partition if there are files at the end of it. You need to move the files first. Which you can do with a defragment and optimise. But not if the files are immovable. So I needed to reduce the number of immovable files. This was well into Yak-shaving territory by now. I turned off hibernation, deleted the hibernation file, turned off paging and deleted the page file, I turned off system restoration, and deleted most of the restore points. Finally I was able to run defrag and optimise (two hours), shrink the partition, turn everything back on and install Ubuntu. I finished at 11pm on Wednesday.

Thursday morning was spent setting up Ubuntu how I wanted and re-installing my data. The Wife had booked Friday as holiday, but decided to take Thursday afternoon and Friday morning off instead, so I took those off with her.

So I've got a working computer again, and I got my playtesting done, but not a lot else this week. It's frustrating when unexpected circumstances take control, but every now and again it can't be helped :(.


Sound Strategy said...

I empathize with you whole-heartedly. At least it's over now (knock on wood).

Jack said...

Here's hoping!



Kenneth said...

Great to know that reiver games runs on Linux! How are you liking ubuntu 9.10+ext4? I've found it to be considerably faster than the last release on the same hardware.

Jack said...

Hiya Kenneth,

It's really hard to say, I've moved from a fairly old laptop to a much better one, so I can't really draw any comparison. It's pretty quick on this new one thoough :)



Hulken said...


I noticed this post on BGN:
And thought you might find it intresting, atleast the last bit of the article.

I don´t know if you can find statistics for other simular games. I don´t even know what category games you would categorice youre relices to be in. Me I would categorice them as filler games.

Hope you have a nice cristmas, take care.


Jack said...

Hiya Daniel,

Interesting article. Black Diamond stock my games, but obviously don't sell a lot of them. I've got to work out how to grow my slice of the pie...